CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » General Edinburgh

"Princes Street a failure on every level"

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  1. chdot
    Admin

    "
    By David Sim Gehl Architects

    Even the traffic is monofunctional - vehicular traffic dominates, rather than pedestrians and bikes.
    "

    http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/topstories/David-Sim-Princes-Street-a.6675032.jp

    Posted 7 years ago #
  2. gembo
    Member

    Good quote - but this is why I try to avoid it. The last time I had to go down it there were thirty buses to be overtaken etc and tramlines in the ice - not nice. I use Cowgate where poss and of course the lovely George St

    Posted 7 years ago #
  3. wee folding bike
    Member

    I think bikes are vehicular traffic. Perhaps he means motorised.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  4. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Jan Gehl (Wikipedia) - a considerable force in returning city streets to the people.

    The question is, is CEC prepared to do anything other than say "Yes, yes, lovely report, fantastic work." and then forget about it and carry on doing what it wants to?

    "Princes Street has fewer people on it than it did 12 years ago."

    I'm one of them, not because I'm always busy driving to anonymous out-of-town shopping places, and not always because I cycle to anonymous out-of-town shopping places, but because Princes St is rammed with buses, scaffolding and uninviting shops. And why does such a potentially world-beating street have such a narrow pavement on the side facing the Gardens and the Castle? In my opinion, Princes St is beginning to feel shabby and unfriendly.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  5. wee folding bike
    Member

    It could have been worse. There was a '60's scheme to demolish the whole thing and make it a two level concrete concourse. At least some of the Victorian buildings have survived.

    My brother in law had Fraser's clock mended about 20 years ago, I don't know if it's broken again.

    Glasgow can't claim to be any better. There are large ped areas in Buchanan St and Sauchiehall St but they haven't been done well. There are low stumpy bollards and random ramps waiting for the visually impaired pedestrian. Argyle St is becoming a bit of a lost cause.

    Not to worry, there is plenty of cash for building out of town shopping centres.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  6. chdot
    Admin

    "
    The question is, is CEC prepared to do anything other than say "Yes, yes, lovely report, fantastic work." and then forget about it
    '

    Answer - NO

    Posted 7 years ago #
  7. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Not to worry, there is plenty of cash for building out of town shopping centres.

    And socking great car parks on top of Queen Street station!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  8. LaidBack
    Member

    Not to worry, there is plenty of cash for building out of town shopping centres.

    I note that Holyrood's plan to tax these has gone quiet again.

    The normal European approach to Princes St would be to have two way bike 'road' on South (garden) side with pavement and kerbs. Then people would actually seek it out as a route. Less junctions too.

    Of course shops are on other side but suspect most cyclists just do the street as east west route - if they do at all. Those that want to shop can turn and park on Frederick St etc

    If you can't get cycling into centre of city then CEC will not get to the 15% of all journeys target.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  9. Arellcat
    Moderator

    ...have two way bike 'road' on garden) side with pavement and kerbs. Then people would actually seek it out as a route.

    What a lovely ride that could be. But how would eastbound cyclists safely transfer to that part of the road at the West End? And would it increase cycle/car conflicts there and cycle/bus conflicts at the East End and the Mound junctions? Maybe CEC would create a proper cycle route where cyclists had priority over motor vehicles!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  10. LaidBack
    Member

    But how would eastbound cyclists safely transfer to that part of the road at the West End?

    They do this sort of thing ok in Amsterdam - of course route could continue into Shandwick Place.

    Dutch style paths often have two way paths on each side of a road.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  11. kaputnik
    Moderator

    And the story in the chipwrapper about the David Sim article; Princes Street condemned as 'big bus station' by architects

    Deputy council leader Steve Cardownie said it was "a bit unfair" to label Princes Street as a bus station, but added there were aspects of the findings he agreed with...

    He's right. There's far more buses on Princes St. than in the bus station. Maybe we should just transpose the signage between the 2 places. Then the report could say "Bus Station condemned as 'big bus station' by architects. In other news, not too many buses on Princes St."

    ...He said: "They have to take into consideration that people have to get into their work and people need to get around."

    Yes. Yes they do. And how exactly does the great bus-wall of China help achieve that movement? You can't use Princes St. to get around by car, we all know we'd rather not use it for bikes, there's no sign of trams and if you ever take a bus at peak times, it's far quicker to get off at one end, walk to the other and get back on a different bus.

    I had a scan of the comments section and was mildly surprised not to find (admittedly didn't look too hard) a load of "get off my roads, bikey" sort of comments.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  12. chdot
    Admin

    Well buses don't always run on Princes Street -

    Not that a permanent diversion to George Street (with the current bus numbers) would be a good idea.

    When the tram was first planned it was expected that many buses would terminate at Haymarket and (probably) St. Andrew Square. Understandably bus users (and Lothian Buses) didn't think this was a good idea.

    One reason was the fact that Princes Street would only have one tram stop.

    What would make a big difference to the Princes Street environment - particularly visual - would be for the trams to run ONLY between Haymarket and St. Andrew Square (with a stop on every P. St. block).

    But that would be too sensible (and embarrassing). Nice clear run for bicycles without extra engineering too!!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  13. PS
    Member

    ...have two way bike 'road' on garden) side with pavement and kerbs. Then people would actually seek it out as a route.

    Yes, that would be the continental solution - very similar to what our Bavarian chums do in Munich. Peds have plenty of room on the shop side of Princes Street and have the far more pleasant option of walking in Princes Street Gardens if they want to avoid the blood curdling sound of pipes 'n beats polluting the air from the tartat shops.

    The main obstruction to such a sensible plan is the multiple bus stops for west-bound services and attendant passengers.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  14. allyt
    Member

    Everyone has their own "solution" for Princes Sreet and the city centre. Here's my preferred option:

    I would remove all vehicle traffic from the North sides (ie the sunny, sheltered sides) of both Princes Street and George Street. I'd also remove the end-on parking on George street, so that there were two decent lanes on the South side of George St.

    That would allow a big one way gyroscope - with buses and taxis running westbound on Princes St and Eastbound on George St.

    It would retain some disabled parking on George Street, it would allow for two way cycle lanes (and trams on Princes Street), and I reckon you could get some tables and chairs and cafe culture going on, on both streets, with much less street clutter from bus stops on the sunny side of both streets - where the people are.

    It would also help to share bus related footfall between Princes St/Rose St and George St, so I'd imagine most traders would be happy.

    The cycle lane on Princes St would not, sadly, be on the Princes St gardens side. It would be roughly where the Eastbound traffic lane is now - but I think it would be more useful there as it would be easier to stop and turn off onto the side streets there.

    Can I have my thousands of pounds of consultancy fee now please?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  15. PS
    Member

    Anyone know if the Gehl report is available for a browse anywhere, or are the Council keeping it under wraps?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    "Plans to take down barriers in bid to improve Princes St"

    http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/topstories/Plans-to-take-down-barriers.6678865.jp

    First 2 comments -

    "
    1
    Proodence ,
    inverkeithing 04/01/2011 11:16:15
    There would be a lot more shoppers if there was access and parking for cars. The railings removal smacks of re-arranging the deck chairs. Princes Street's decline has been directly related to Edinburgh's anti motorist measures.If Princes Street is to prosper with the great unwashed bus brigade they need to get Lidl at one end and Poundland at the other. Report Unsuitable
    2
    Mr Common Sense,
    04/01/2011 12:03:44
    There would be a lot more shoppers if there were fewer cars. That's what all the actual evidence shows. People hate having to mix with traffic, so they stay away. Pedestrianise more. Provide better public transport. Ignore the lazy fuelheads.

    "

    Posted 7 years ago #
  17. wingpig
    Member

    Cripes. Even better/worse:

    "#6 [Alternative (High-Octane) Fuel Head]:
    ...open Princes Street to general traffic and allow stopping to drop-off and pick up. Additionally, remove the outlandish parking restrictions generally in the city.

    In other words, revert to the way things were in the mid 80s and scrap all the left-wing anti-car lunacy that has been imposed upon us by morons ever since."

    Posted 7 years ago #
  18. kaputnik
    Moderator

    revert to the way things were in the mid 80s

    Yeah! Good old days when there was 2 different Wimpy Burgers to choose from :)

    Posted 7 years ago #
  19. chdot
    Admin

    Posted 4 months ago #

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